''Summertime is always the best of what might be''
Arundel Castle is located in West Sussex, an area I'm not hugely familiar with, however I love exploring new places and never more than when a positive experience is guaranteed. Every corner of the internet pointed to Arundel being an incredibly pleasant and welcoming area, so throw in a castle and I figured it was time for a day trip! Conveniently, parking was directly outside one of the entrances (and an ice cream stand where I may or may not have devoured a salted caramel ice cream), which made for an easy entrance.
Fascinatingly, the castle is still inhabited, making it one of the longest inhabited country houses in England. As you'll know from my Barcelona Travel Diary, I very much admire Gothic style architecture, making the three hours spent wandering through Arundel Castle a total pleasure, for the house was almost completely rebuilt in this style between the 1870s and 1890s. I really wish I could have taken photos within the castle however due to restrictions on that front, their online gallery will have to suffice!
Note: photography is not allowed inside the castle, however is welcomed throughout the extensive grounds.
After enjoying a (very generous) slab of cake at the castle's restaurant, next on the cards was to explore the gardens and surrounding smaller buildings. Key features include the English Herbaceous Borders (that include Delphiniums, Geraniums and Roses), The Tropical Glass House and the Fitzalan Chapel. Although the chapel building seems small from outside, upon entering you're immediately dwarfed by the sheer height of the building and elongated, elaborate stained glass windows. I got a definite 'holiday vibe' from my time spent in the Fitzalan chapel, as the hit of cold air after experiencing humidity outdoors reminded me of the many chapels and cathedrals visited in Europe over the years during warm, humid summers.
One of these days, I may just stop wearing jeans, peasant blouses and my super-handy cross-body bag, but clearly this was not the day. Admittedly, it was probably a little too warm to have my legs covered, but thankfully there's a whole summer stretched out ahead of us and so there's plenty of time yet for dresses and skirts!
Blouse - H&M
Jeans - Topshop Tall Leigh Jeans
Sandals - Dune Finchy Sandals
Bag - Ralph Lauren
Necklace - John Greed
Arundel Castle is worth visiting for the walled gardens alone. With views of Arundel Cathedral towering above just metres away, it reminded me of when I visited the Christmas Markets in Koln last December and had the spectacular Cologne Cathedral (Dom) constantly in my peripheral vision! Interestingly, the Earl's Garden is a tribute to Thomas Howard 14th Earl of Arundel (1585 to 1646) and as far as tributes go, this one has to put all others to shame. There are water fountains, Italianate upper terraces covered in Tulips (my favourite flower!) and more terracotta pots than I can possibly remember. To put the beauty into perspective, I can tell you I only came across about four people who didn't have their cameras glued to their faces!
The three images directly below depict what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful area of Arundel Castle's grounds. There were scenes within the castle that were more elaborate and historical, however for me, nothing beats a 'summer scene'. The deep aqua colour of the water, the flashes of gold on the wooden vases and the explosion of colour provided by the flowers - it was heavenly!